The effect of bi-cropping wheat (Triticum aestivum) and beans (Vicia faba) on forage yield and weed competition

Cannon, Nicola, Kamalongo, D and Conway, John (2019) The effect of bi-cropping wheat (Triticum aestivum) and beans (Vicia faba) on forage yield and weed competition. Biological Agriculture & Horticulture. ISSN 0144-8765

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Field experiments were conducted from April 2015 to September 2016 at the Royal Agricultural University, UK to explore the impact of drilling pattern and species mixtures on weed growth and forage yield. The bi-crops of spring field bean (Vicia faba) cv. Maris Bead and Fuego with spring wheat (Triticum aestivum) cv. Paragon were evaluated at four drilling patterns in a randomized complete block design with four replicates and compared against their respective sole crops. Weed DM was 59% higher in sole cropping systems than bi-cropping systems. Sole cropping systems outperformed bi-cropping systems for wheat (in 2016 only) and bean forage DM yield. However bi-cropping systems produced higher total forage DM yield than sole cropping systems. Weed DM was higher in broadcast than alternate rows. Bean forage DM was higher in alternate rows than broadcast by 74%. Wheat forage DM was not affected by the drilling patterns. Maris Bead had higher forage DM than Fuego (in 2016 only). In conclusion, bi-cropping can increase land productivity per unit area over sole cropping whilst improving forage DM yield and providing low cost integrated weed management. Alternate row drilling can improve bi-cropping productivity over broadcast practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funded by John Oldacre Foundation
Keywords: bi-cropping, land equivalent ratio, resource-use efficiency, faba bean, forage yield, weed suppression
Divisions: Agriculture, Food and Environment
Depositing User: Ms Nicola Cannon
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2019 14:33
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2022 15:51

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